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Traffic violators deserve the holiday discounts?

Abu Dhabi motorists get 50 percent discount

It leaves a bitter taste in Kipp's mouth. Motorists that have incurred fines before the given date and are relieved at the enormous discount will hate me for writing this.

December 17, 2012 10:35 by

Any fines issued to motorists before December 2 and paid in full before February 1, 2013 will be cut in half, according to a recent announcement by the Abu Dhabi department of transport. This is no new revelation for drivers in the capital nor is it unexpected – particularly with the UAE’s impeccable ability to market and incentivise all things.

Still, it leaves a bitter taste in Kipp’s mouth. Motorists that have incurred fines before the given date and are relieved at the enormous surprise discount will hate me for writing this. The ones that have piled up bills – that haven’t been issued before the date – and are unable to pay the entire amount by the end of January will hate me for reminding them of that. And finally, well-behaved drivers will likely read, agree or pass judgement.

For the rest of us that rely on taxis and the good ol’ Dubai Metro, we have no particular dog in this fight yet we realise what an irrational concept it is. In spite of the UAE being caught up in the spirit of the holiday season, there should be no reason why law violators get the Christmas Special discount. Yes, the Mawaqif spokesperson says ‘this move is meant to ease the financial burden of users by helping them clear outstanding amounts as well as encourage them to adhere to parking rules and regulations’.

The first one is a given. I don’t trust the second one, because letting them off easy is hardly a push in the right direction nor does it instill any discipline. In fact, it downright undermines the historic concept of being punished for breaking the law and the only question is, when can we expect this generosity to extend beyond parking tickets?

And 150 kilometres (give or take) away in Dubai, we have a situation that’s not very different. The White Points system for Dubai motorists has just been reaffirmed and promoted by the General Al Zafin, director of Dubai Police Traffic Department.

Drivers who commit zero traffic violations in any of the emirates will stack up white points and be eligible to win a new car. Now we finally have an incentive to be safe? The points can also be redeemed in different ways, either by knocking off the price tag of existing fines or cancelling them all together.

Let us know how you feel about transport authorities cutting motorists some slack. We threw the old letter-in-a-bottle in the trusty ocean that is Twitter and here is what we found so far:

“Discounts on road tickets are normal in Abu Dhabi, {there’s an} inability to take decisions and stick to them.”

“Abu Dhabi rocks!”

“Allowing discounts / relaxing consequences is admitting that it’s okay, just pay something to clear the books.”

“Pointless. Why have laws if the discipline and consequences are relaxed? Why have 100 speed limit if cameras set at 121? ”


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  1. chaz on December 18, 2012 6:10 am

    Fining people for bad behaviour is the norm in any society.
    Giving a discount on a fine just means the laws are being treated as a joke.

    White points is a good idea if that for example can be used to discount insurance? Not to discount a future offence though.

    Strange message being sent out. Abusers are clearly happy though!

  2. Nic on December 23, 2012 10:37 pm

    Just be happy for those who get the amount of their fines cut, they still have to pay something, so I do not agree it says one should not adhere to traffic rules. More importantly I’ve never believed that the fining system encourages better driving. Really, think about it one can easily get a fine without having driven dangerously, such as speeding on an empty road without going outrageaously over the speed limit, similar case with parking…….I don’t think there are many fines handed out for bad or simply driving unaware, which is what mostly causes accidents! Teaching drivers to be aware of their surroundings, such as other cars instead of staring straight ahead and going at a stupid speed in slow lanes for examples, ignoring the existsence of indicators etc. you know what I am talking about to me is a much bigger offence than setting off a speed camera here and there or parking in the sand………Happy New Year!!

  3. Nic on December 23, 2012 10:38 pm

    Sorry I meant slow speed in fast lanes…….


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